With the unearthing of the Time Capsule from 2013 for this year's birthday celebration, I'm reminded of another event from that summer here at Camp Mount Luther. Today for your devotions, read your favorite proverb, then read this reflection from that summer. --Chad Hershberger, Camp Mount Luther Director
I said "yes" in a moment of weakness. It turned out to be one of the highlights of my summer of 1993. It was an experience that I'll never forget and would probably do again: Bug Chug '93.
Bug Chug was developed by a good friend of mine who at lunch one day thought it would be interesting to drink juice really fast. He devised a plan wherein teams of six would drink bug juice at three different stations, competing to see who could drink the fastest.
The three teams started at station one with a humorous prayer and, as a team, we consumed a small Igloo of iced tea. When each team had finished, the members ran to the second station where we had to drink the same amount of another kind of juice. My team decided that it would be easier and take less time to dump some of our juice and take a time penalty than to actually drink it. When our penalty was up, we ran to the third station.
Along the way, member of the three teams began to throw up, which, of course, made more room to consume the last juice: fruit punch. However, all teams were a bit full by now and couldn't drink much more, so we all dumped the remaining beverage and simultaneously made a mad dash for the finish line (as some continued to throw up along the way).
My team came in second, but we did have the overall individual winner. But somehow, it just didn't matter who won. We all had a good time and enjoyed participating in an unusual display of good sportsmanship.
It's been often said that it's not who wins or loses, but how one plays the game. That night, we played to have fun and experience the values of togetherness and good sportsmanship. The event has been been repeated since then, if you can believe it, and has continued to be an important staff bonding activity.
The original Bug Chug Winner's Trophy from 1993
For our devotional today, look in your Bible for a passage about water. Read it, then read and ponder this reflection:
Some of my fondest summer memories have to do with water. Seeing Niagara Falls, going on the waterslides at Raystown Lake, running under a sprinkler in our backyard, and sliding down a homemade waterslide are events which have made a lasting impression. Water is a truly valuable resource. We use it to drink, bathe, and have some summer fun.
What would you do during the summer without a tall glass of ice water? Or a swimming pool? Ever try to make spaghetti without water? Everyday, everywhere we turn, there is water.
Just like water, children are valuable resources. They are everywhere, too. You seem them everyday, always happy, without a care in the world. They appreciate the small things-- the birds, the ducks, the flies, the gnats, mud puddles, ice cream trucks and the like. They turn an ordinary box into an extravagant plaything. They have the power to be whatever or whomever they want to be. Nothing is impossible to them.
Jesus once turned water into wine. I once turned by dining room into Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. Anything is possible with a little faith or some imagination. The possibilities are endless.
Remember our youth. They are the future. They have insights, ideas, and imaginations that will carry this nation forward. And when you get a little stressed out, take a small run under a garden sprinkler. You will feel young again and be rejuvenated in an ever-so-hectic world. --Chad Hershberger, Cam
Reading: Psalm 33
When our forefathers were creating this nation in the 18th Century, I think they really had God in mind. From historical accounts that I have read, it seems to me that they looked to God for guidance and strength in their endeavors. Our ancestors had come to America partly for religious freedom. Religion was a priority when framing our new way of life.
Our nation's motto is "In God We Trust." When we say the Pledge of Allegiance, we say that we are "one nation under God." The founders of the U.S.A. knew that we could not have independence without the help of our Father and Creator.
As we celebrate America's birthday today, let us not forget to thank God for our independence and the ideals our country upholds. We are the great nation on this world, giving opportunities to so many people. Let us be thankful for what men like Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin did to set up the freedoms we enjoy today. God Bless America! --Chad Hershberger, Camp Mount Luther Director
Closing: Meditate on or discuss with others this quote from Martin Luther, "The more a person loves, the closer her approaches the image of God."
Reading: I Thessalonians 1:3
One of the big adjustments when going to college is learning to live with a roommate. For many, having a roommate is a good experience. If you get along and enjoy each other's company, you probably will make a friend for life. But, if you have a bad experience and do not get along with the person you are assigned to live with, it can make college life terrible.
Most people probably have great anxiety when it comes to meeting their roommate for the first time. I was lucky. My roommate and I went to high school together and knew each other pretty well. So, I had no anxiety about our living arrangement since we had planned it that way.
It was nice to have someone I knew to share those first few days of college. I think it would have been tougher had I been at school without knowing anyone. It made me more comfortable.
We can also get comfortable win our spiritual lives. We can be satisfied where we are at and not strive to grow in the spirit. We can go to church each week and listen to the Word and the message and go home and wait another seven days before hearing more scripture. We can do the things we are taught, recite the liturgy we've known for years and go about our lives not challenging our spiritual being. Or, we can pick up the Bible each day and gain more wisdom, we can attend Bible studies and prayer meetings to get other's perspective's on spiritual issues, and we can listen to what we recite and pay attention to what we are really saying.
It was great in college to be comfortable with the person I was living with. And, I admit, for awhile I think I was comfortable with my faith. But I've tried to grow spiritually by reading the Bible more and learning about God's Word. I have grown and I don't think I'll ever go back to my old ways. --Chad Hershberger, Camp Mount Luther Director
Closing: Make a pledge to do something in the next week to grow in your faith.
Reading: Philipians 4:8, Colossians 3:2
Temptation follows us everywhere. As humans, we are tempted constantly to do things that we should not do. Sometimes, we let the temptation get the best of us. Other times, we have will power and resist our temptations.
When we are facing temptation, there are many things we could do. One suggestion which I like is to try and redirect our tempting thoughts. We can redirect those thoughts onto something more godly. If our temptation is a sin, we should remind ourselves that we are directly sinning against God. Could you look God in the face and still do what you may be thinking of doing? After all, consider what God has done for you.
We should resist our temptations. It can be hard, but it is the right thing to do. --Chad Hershberger, Camp Mount Luther Director
Closing: Think about and make a plan of what you will do the time you are tempted.
Reading: Revelation 7: 15
I have felt God's presence many times, most of them being in nature. When I am in the woods, or when I just sit and look at the wondrous creation that God made, I feel His presence. How anyone could not believe in God while looking at creation is beyond me.
I have also felt God's presence a number of other times. Once, when I was concerned about a certain situation, every time I turned abound, I felt that God was there, helping me to get through it. Yet another time, I was worried about a circumstance and as I was driving home, I looked at the sunset and felt God's presence, telling me everything would be all right.
No matter if you feel God's presence or not, we as Christians know that God is always with us. What a comforting thing to know! --Chad Hershberger, Camp Mount Luther Director
Reading: Matthew 8: 19
Who has influenced your faith more than anyone else in your life? I can think of several people who helped teach me about God and strengthen my faith. They taught me to follow Jesus and His ways. They showed me how awesome God is and how God can work in my life.
We should be indebted to those who influence our faith. We should take time to thank them for what they have taught us. Take time out today to tell those who have helped you most in your walk with God that you appreciate what they have done for you. --Chad Hershberger, Camp Mount Luther Director
Closing: Reread the last line of today's reflec
Due to the Camp Mount Luther 50th Birthday Celebration this weekend, we did not get to post devotions. Please accept our apologies and enjoy a few extra reflections today!
Readings: Matthew 11: 16-19, Psalm 150
Dancing is not something I am very good at or enjoy very much. I guess I don't have too much rhythm. But, I have been known to dance occasionally if the mood strikes me. More often than not I would rather sit and watch others do "the groove thing."
Some people say they cannot sing. I don't believe that. Once, I heard a choir director say that everyone can sing, some just sing better than others, which is true. I think that can also be said for dancing. Everyone can dance, some just do it better than others.
If we are singing or dancing for God, it doesn't matter if we do it well. God does not care how good we are. God instead is just glad that we praise and worship God through dance and song. --Chad Hershberger, Camp Mount Luther Director
Closing: Watch this video of the camp song, "Lord of the Dance."
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